IT Want versus IT Need

It is not what you immediately want, it is what you need now and in the future.

No matter how small or large your IT “project” is, whether it is as simple as upgrading RAM, implementing a new office IT infrastructure, reducing call costs or launching a new website – this is the question you should always be asking yourself.

Whether you call it a specification or a requirements/definition list, the approach we take  is to try and help clients understand what they are trying to achieve, which is sometimes completely different to what they think they want.

A very simple, but common example, would be:

Want : I have purchased a new mobile phone/tablet and I want it to use it for email

Question : Should both devices have the same information on both devices, i.e Sent Email, Inbox, Folders  or should they operate independently ? This first solution makes it simpler to keep all of the information in one place, sharing it between two devices, the second makes it harder to locate specific emails as they could be held on either of the two devices.

Need :  I have purchased a new mobile phone/tablet and I need it to use it for email but I also need to carry on using my laptop so I need to make sure  both devices share the same mailbox so no mail gets lost and it can be accessed by both.

By taking a step back and asking lots of seemingly irrelevant questions, you remove the “want block” for the <insert latest technology gadget/software here> and you start to actually define the “need block” which in some cases is completely different.

In the current economic climate, it is even more important to ensure that you are paying for your actual requirements, breaking down your “IT Wants” vs “IT Needs” could help.

Putting the correct building blocks in place (whether it is hardware, software or a process) gives you a better idea of the tools and technologies you will need to achieve your goal.  It can help clarify your current requirements and save you money as you are defining the right tools for the job, both for your “want” now and your future “need”.

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